Preflop Raise Sizing: How much should you raise preflop?

Tammy

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We set the tone for any poker hand preflop. Every decision (or indecision) we make has an effect on the rest of the hand (and cumulatively the entire poker game) . It is important to have plan, and that includes knowing what and when to raise preflop. Plan wisely, and you will set your poker game up for optimal success more often than not.

Take a look at our poker strategy article: Preflop Raise Sizing

Do you follow these principles, or do you have a different plan of attack? Or are you more a "fly by the seat of your pants" sort of player, making it up as you go (how's that working out for you, by the way ;))?
 
Aballinamion

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Sizing

We set the tone for any poker hand preflop. Every decision (or indecision) we make has an effect on the rest of the hand (and cumulatively the entire poker game) . It is important to have plan, and that includes knowing what and when to raise preflop. Plan wisely, and you will set your poker game up for optimal success more often than not.

Take a look at our poker strategy article: Preflop Raise Sizing

Do you follow these principles, or do you have a different plan of attack? Or are you more a "fly by the seat of your pants" sort of player, making it up as you go (how's that working out for you, by the way ;))?

Hello there master Tammy! Another singular article, very good indeed!
A couple of days ago I put up a thread talking about sizing in CardsChat freerolls: https://www.cardschat.com/forum/tou...t-freeroll-club-how-deal-exploitation-447965/

Well, some players are really masters in altering their sizes to explore recreational players.
However, there are those who overdo it, and try to do it against decent regulars, and that's not a good ideia.
I will utilize these ideias in the article in my next tournaments, it is really interesting that we could be opening 3x when deep stacked (60-70 bb) and getting small in proportion to our stack sizes (2.1x to 2.5x varying)

Cash Games

I play more cash games, but we are trying to learn about poker in general, right? At the cash tables it's really fun to play with our sizes preflop: for instance, sometimes, when it comes in gap, and I am hero in the BTN, and there are two whales in the blinds who simply love too much calling (the real calling station, with VPIP 30 or more), I can open 4 blinds, 5 blinds, even 10 blinds, because I know this kind of player will think that I am lying and call just to see how would I react.
The same goes for 3-bet and 4-bet size: when I see the opponent loves to call why not increase the size with our better hands, for the times we hit (or not at all!) we take down a marvelous pot?
We have to be careful when facing regulars, as the article describes. Against regulars, we want to play our most perfect and balanced game, thus we don't open doors and windows for exploitation.

Regards;

Carlos 'Aballinamion' Barbosa
 
Luvart

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An excellent article about preflop bet sizing!

I would say there are different views on the topic.

Some players vary their open-raise size, while others keep a fixed size. I tend to keep a specific open-raise size of 2.2 to 2.7bb from sesssion to session. Now, as we know very well, there is a difference between cash games and MTTs.

When it comes to 3/4-betting, I tend to keep the size fixed.
 
acidburnfx

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BR
Interesting that approach! In tournaments where you have more chips and space to play, perhaps this could be a good line to opt for this type of variation in relation to opening hands.
 
BentleyBoy

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Great Article Cardschat and very thought provoking. I think the important aspect here is that point about players who are not paying attention or do not understand the principle of bet sizing. To manage your bet sizing properly, we have to really pay attention to identify these players and make sure our own strategy is not undone by someone who has no strategy at all.

BB
 
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It is all well explained. Nothing to add. Except I never understood "raise pre-flop because you can win more if someone calls". You can also lose more if you don't win. My statistics tells me I won less than half hands when I raised pre-flop. One third maybe.
 
Bev

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Read this thread: Preflop Raise Sizing:

Yep , it definitely sets the mood when anyone raises pre -flop.
There is some good ideas in this one. Thank-you for the help again.


I like this part :
Once we get shorter stacked, things certainly change. We want to start opening with smaller sizings, for a couple of reasons. One is that a smaller open will usually achieve the same effect at shorter stacks. This means that we can create a similar amount of folds, and achieve a similar amount of fold equity, with smaller sizings. Another reason concerns maneuverability postflop.


Well, for me when my stack is shorter ... especially after an "oopsie" , my usual option is to shove :)
Not sure if anyone has paid attention to the betting boxes at every table ? In this article , it mentions about "sizing " . well I found out years ago , those boxes are a guide to how much to raise at each turn.
So, if you are in doubt , those boxes are a good start to raise pre-flop , or for the turn and the river.

For me , my habit is to usually hit the Pot button on the top of those boxes .
 
ammje

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Thank you very much for this article, it has helped me a lot to improve my preflop game.
I think it depends on who you are playing against, a good player can open the range of hands, but against a bad player, you have to have a good hand.
 
Vallet

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I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the article.
 
makisaa

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Usually I prefer to open from strong positions and the raising is 2-3bb, depending from my hand, the position and the players we play together. If we play enough time together and everyone has studied others, then I must consider this and be more carefull when raising.
 
Ventoman777

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A lot of plus players in NL think that you should always pre-flop with a raise. The average raise is about 4BB, and the raise is on many cards, and not just on the top ones. For example, in the middle position, any pair is actively raised.
 
thetick33

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love this article especially early late blind play etc...this is a spot i have trouble with at times so to study more on that will only help my game more
 
kraemer

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Good article with great advice...
I personnally also like the smallball poker approach in which you use a small fixed raise, regardless of cards and position.... If you always raise 2bb your opponents have literally no clue what kind of hand to put you on. And if they ran into monsters a few times after you only raisedd to 2BB these small raises will have pretty much the same effect in terms of getting players to fold. It also makes it very hard for your opponent to figure out where they are after the flop, because the 2BB raise could meann anything from small suited connectors to AA... This can lead to a lot of folds against your cbets with weak hands and can also cause them to pay you when you have hit the nuts on the flop....
 
Tammy

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Hello there master Tammy! Another singular article, very good indeed!
A couple of days ago I put up a thread talking about sizing in CardsChat Freerolls: https://www.cardschat.com/forum/tou...t-freeroll-club-how-deal-exploitation-447965/

Well, some players are really masters in altering their sizes to explore recreational players.
However, there are those who overdo it, and try to do it against decent regulars, and that's not a good ideia.
I will utilize these ideias in the article in my next tournaments, it is really interesting that we could be opening 3x when deep stacked (60-70 bb) and getting small in proportion to our stack sizes (2.1x to 2.5x varying)

Cash Games

I play more cash games, but we are trying to learn about poker in general, right? At the cash tables it's really fun to play with our sizes preflop: for instance, sometimes, when it comes in gap, and I am hero in the BTN, and there are two whales in the blinds who simply love too much calling (the real calling station, with VPIP 30 or more), I can open 4 blinds, 5 blinds, even 10 blinds, because I know this kind of player will think that I am lying and call just to see how would I react.
The same goes for 3-bet and 4-bet size: when I see the opponent loves to call why not increase the size with our better hands, for the times we hit (or not at all!) we take down a marvelous pot?
We have to be careful when facing regulars, as the article describes. Against regulars, we want to play our most perfect and balanced game, thus we don't open doors and windows for exploitation.

Regards;

Carlos 'Aballinamion' Barbosa
I'll have to check out your thread and see what it's all about. This is a great post - particularly the part about cash games, and you could also adapt this method in a tournament. But getting to know the players at your table, and gauging just how much you can get away with raising (or how little you can get away with) is a great tool and practice.

Great Article Cardschat and very thought provoking. I think the important aspect here is that point about players who are not paying attention or do not understand the principle of bet sizing. To manage your bet sizing properly, we have to really pay attention to identify these players and make sure our own strategy is not undone by someone who has no strategy at all.

BB
Great points! You always have to pay attention, and know your opponents. Novice players will not understand certain dynamics of play, so won't really know how to recognize the "messages" you're trying to convey. It's crucial to be able to recognize that when we play.

It is all well explained. Nothing to add. Except I never understood "raise pre-flop because you can win more if someone calls". You can also lose more if you don't win. My statistics tells me I won less than half hands when I raised pre-flop. One third maybe.
It's not just about "winning more if someone calls". It's also about not giving more marginal hands the odds to call and potentially outdraw your hands by letting them in cheap. It's how a lot of people's aces get cracked because they misplay them preflop.

Yep , it definitely sets the mood when anyone raises pre -flop.
There is some good ideas in this one. Thank-you for the help again.


I like this part :
Once we get shorter stacked, things certainly change. We want to start opening with smaller sizings, for a couple of reasons. One is that a smaller open will usually achieve the same effect at shorter stacks. This means that we can create a similar amount of folds, and achieve a similar amount of fold equity, with smaller sizings. Another reason concerns maneuverability postflop.


Well, for me when my stack is shorter ... especially after an "oopsie" , my usual option is to shove :)
Not sure if anyone has paid attention to the betting boxes at every table ? In this article , it mentions about "sizing " . well I found out years ago , those boxes are a guide to how much to raise at each turn.
So, if you are in doubt , those boxes are a good start to raise pre-flop , or for the turn and the river.

For me , my habit is to usually hit the Pot button on the top of those boxes .
Those little buttons do come in handy. :)
 
Bozovicdj

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All well said and all correct in the article. I still have to say that people should mind that often in live cash games, pre flop bets are way bigger then standard which is around 2.5x.
In poker club I play at, it's 200NL and it is pretty standard to bet anywhere between 12$ and 25$ which is quite insane, but is so because majority of the players look to make fast money, and not play to win in the long run.
If anyone ends up in such environment - my advice is to tighten up big time. You will always have more then enough lunatics to call you with any 2 cards with the mindset: "what IF I hit it good this exact hand"
 
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Sometimes i like complete balance and raising the same amount every time, and sometimes i like to mix it and at both times i keep my opponents guessing what i have. Mixed raising is a little bit more open to exploitation since they can see a pattern in your sizing so you need go change it all the time and keep it unpredictable
 
Edgerik

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Good article and a lot of help to improve our poker.
 
MMaki1981

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This has give me some food for thought...

This article was great and gave me a lot to think about. In the past I have tried not to analyze things to much while playing because it tends to mess up my game. However, reading this now and analyzing it prior to my next game will hopefully allow me to adjust my pre-flop raising size to see if I can get better results based on this information. Typically I have never played following any sort of guide on pre-flop raising and I will admit I am generally all over the place. I will definitely have think about some of the reasoning and see if I can use it to better my game!
 
Edison A

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Personally, I depend a lot on my position and the strength of my hand, if I have raised preflop and I enter with a player I usually make a continuation bet, in the middle of the boat, whether or not I have connected in the flop, if the flop is very risky for example with a color project or stall I also make the continuation bet, if the villain has raised preflop and I call, in the flop connect or do not connect I check, that way I study your bet preflop ... I WILL SEE HOW MUCH YOU WILL BET POSTFLOP AND I WILL TELL YOU THAT YOU HAVE!
 
redboy23

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A very important topic Tammy.

Although most times my pre-flop betting is pretty similar to the proposed sizing, lately I am beginning to mix it up quite a bit.

This of course depends on the players at the table. Every now and then, I lay in wait with a monster hand under the gun and simply flat call waiting for the expected raises from late position and middle position.

More and more, I realize that one has to really be skilled at navigating post flop as players are trying triple barrels and more stone cold bluffs. It is nice when a player bets 3 x BB pre-flop and keeps betting on each street to a board with low cards simply because he has AK and your wide range in middle and late position hits!

I am happy that your post validates my usual pre-flop play but it is becoming increasingly challenging to navigate post-flop waters.
 
xOneCoolHandx

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Preflop raises

Very informative argue as the GTO method is just to min raise from every position preflop. I have experimented with this myself, but, while this has fallen out of favor with the GTO community in general (now the 2.5 raise is in fashion), it still persists in many games that I play and watch. Maybe in high stakes games, this is still sound strategy, but not in low and medium stakes.

I absolutely agree with varying open sizing according to position and to stack depth although I generally do it opposite. I like to open smaller from EP because my preflop range has such a very positive EV against any callers (especially the BB). In later position, I have a much wider range and I tend to open up a bit larger. I also vary this according to my stack size and the effective stacks.

I also like that you pointed out that you can adjust your opening size based on whether the opponents are strong or weak or whether they pay attention to the varying opens at all. I find that competent players will read into your bet sizing and will play back at you. This opens up "leveling wars" that you want to avoid in tournaments, but can be fun and profitable in cash games.

I think one thing you should have mentioned in this article is how open limping is BAD except in very few specific situations.

Overall, great article. We will see how many CC players actually read it and apply it to their games.
 
redboy23

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Hello poker fans,

Like I said previously, making that initial post flop bet, 3 x BB bet or whatever, is only the beginning. You still have to navigate through the murky waters of uncertainty.

I have included three hands or so for your feedback. Did I make the right bet pre-flop?

What would you do differently and why :)

I love this game but it does not love me - the last hand is censored! (Not for the faint of heart :)

Hand 1

Hand 2

Hand 3

I am lucky that I only play .10 games, otherwise I would have gone loco. Off course, I play where my bank roll is comfortable and recreational for now.
 
moulan7

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Hello,

Yeah I follow the general rules of your article.

Cash (always deep stacked) I always open 2.5x and 3x from the SB.

On tourneys is where I become more fancy haha.

When deep and at the first stages of blinds I open 2.5x and 3x from the SB exactly like cash.
As a shorter stack and/or when big blinds are on the later stages I open 2.1x and I still go for 3x from the SB (although I feel that this becomes somewhat of a big sized bet. I'm considering to fix it at 2.7-2.8x as you suggest at the end of the article)

These about open raising if no limpers in the pot.
I add 1bb for every limper.

I also don't change my sizing depending on my position (other than the SB) and of course my holding. No info for you! xD
 
Syltan

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Firstly, a very relevant article after you made the starting stack in pokerstars freerolls of 3000 chips, I admit that I play very deep in stacks very poorly, so I prefer to skip the first 30-40 minutes. Now I am armed, I will try to apply and understand the information from the articles)
 
Miguel Chacon

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Great article ! Like always really detailed and understandable I usually follow this guide that you describe such as the 3xbb deep stack although when is a slow tourney or have some calling station ([emoji226]) on my table I like to make it bigger like 4xbb usually when is late stage and have like 30bb stack I tend to just raise 2xbb not 2.1 or 2.2 I will consider adjust my bet options to see how works in my strategy... But really great things to remember and study once in a while ...
Thanks !
 
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